Single Idea 6736

[catalogued under 15. Nature of Minds / A. Nature of Mind / 4. Other Minds / c. Knowing other minds]

Full Idea

The knowledge I have of other spirits is not immediate, as is the knowledge of my ideas; but depending on the intervention of ideas, by me referred to agents or spirits distinct from myself, as effects or concomitant signs.

Gist of Idea

I know other minds by ideas which are referred by me to other agents, as their effects


George Berkeley (The Principles of Human Knowledge [1710], 145)

Book Reference

Berkeley,George: 'The Principles of Human Knowledge etc.', ed/tr. Warnock,G.J. [Fontana 1962], p.139

A Reaction

This strikes me as gross intellectual dishonesty, since the argument Berkeley uses to assert other minds could equally be used to assert the existence of tables ('by me referred to agents distinct from myself, as effects'). Be a solipsist or a realist.